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Pass closed by snow. Can you pass?

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Pass closed by snow. Can you pass?

Old 11-18-18, 08:22 PM
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deadlikeme
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Pass closed by snow. Can you pass?

Hoi im currently cycling cross country and now in lake city CO and want to cross the engineer pass but dont know if a pass is closed due to snow can you still go on with your bicycle? Are you not breaking the law then? till now i went over a few passes with snow it was hard but i made it.

Jerry
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Old 11-18-18, 09:09 PM
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If pass is closed, then it is closed to all.
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Old 11-18-18, 09:24 PM
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Can't hurt to ask someone in CDOT, or the locals if a physical barricade is up. There's closed, and then there's closed. A truck hit a power pole on a canyon road, at a point where my choices were, find out if I could go through, or backtrack about 7 miles up a hill that I really didn't want to ride back up. So I asked the guys at the barricade in those exact words-- "Is it "closed", or is it closed?" The both just said, "Oh, you can go ahead. Just stay to the left when you get down about a mile from here." Only time in my life I've ever had that road to myself.
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Old 11-18-18, 10:51 PM
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I can't answer the OP's question but for those who don't know, this is Engineer Pass.

The motorcycle rider almost made it to the top in May.

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Old 11-19-18, 12:52 AM
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Judging by the above video, if it's closed, it's gonna be really tough going. Really steep, abrupt dropoffs in places too.

If you wanna risk it, that's your decision. Expect to carry your bike across some sections. I hope you're traveling relatively light! If you've got a fully loaded touring bike with 40+ lbs of gear, I'd skip it if closed.
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Old 11-19-18, 01:12 AM
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In Oregon, if a pass is closed to motor vehicles, then it is technically open for recreational use (pedestrians skiers, etc), and that seems to include bicycles. Unfortunately communication is very poor, so it is nearly impossible to know the true road conditions. And, my guess, that is intentional... if the state says it is open to bicycles, then that may come with some liability. On the other hand, if they mark it as closed, then the users are up there at their own risk.

They often plow a single lane of the McKenzie pass, and let the rest of the road simply melt off.

So, watch the weather. If there are a couple of weeks of sunny weather, then one can often get over the pass. If it is raining in the valleys, then it could well be snowing in the pass.

I'd hate to run into a snow plow that was plowing a single lane of a road in poor visibility conditions.

For trip planning, I'd be much more comfortable planning an out and back trip on a closed road. That way if you get in too deep, simply turn around and go home.

If you are planning a through trip, and say get 20 miles in and determine you have to turn around, then you may well have wasted a whole day of riding, and may also be tempted to do something that is stupid.
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Old 11-19-18, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by deadlikeme View Post
Hoi im currently cycling cross country ...
I presume you mean the United States. If so, isn't it a bit of an odd time of year to do that?
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Old 11-19-18, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I presume you mean the United States. If so, isn't it a bit of an odd time of year to do that?
Too hot to ride across Australia?

There are some passes through Arizona, but this might well be a nice time to tour the southern USA.
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Old 11-19-18, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Too hot to ride across Australia?

There are some passes through Arizona, but this might well be a nice time to tour the southern USA.
Actually this time of year would be a nice choice to cross Australia ... spring. Really warming up in some areas but cooler in others.
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Old 11-19-18, 05:12 AM
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I'll bite

It seems at least part of the road is under the jurisdiction of the U.S.F.S.

Rugged, narrow in places road requiring moderate a 4x4 with at least moderate clearance. Elevation tops out at 12,800' Pass has been close since at least 11/5 due to 12" or more of snow. What could possibly go wrong?

https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/f...fsbdev3_002300
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Old 11-19-18, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by deadlikeme View Post
Hoi im currently cycling cross country and now in lake city CO and want to cross the engineer pass but dont know if a pass is closed due to snow can you still go on with your bicycle? Are you not breaking the law then? till now i went over a few passes with snow it was hard but i made it.

Jerry
Engineer Pass is closed to wheeled motor vehicles. That probably because the Forest Service doesn't want to deal with hauling cars out of the snow nor with the bodies of the people who get stuck up there all winter. It is unlikely closed to skiers, foot traffic or snow mobiles.

That said, trying to cross that pass this time of year is a risky proposition even on skis. It's high and a long trip. Trying to cross it while dragging a bicycle would make it an even longer trip. And you will be dragging the bike most of the way. The San Jauns get a lot of snow and the snow storms can be brutal. I would suggest that if you try to cross it, you might want to recruit 5 other people. Provisions.
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Old 11-19-18, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'll bite

It seems at least part of the road is under the jurisdiction of the U.S.F.S.

Rugged, narrow in places road requiring moderate a 4x4 with at least moderate clearance. Elevation tops out at 12,800' Pass has been close since at least 11/5 due to 12" or more of snow. What could possibly go wrong?
Injecting relevant facts into the discussion? Spoilsport!
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Old 11-19-18, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'll bite

It seems at least part of the road is under the jurisdiction of the U.S.F.S.

Rugged, narrow in places road requiring moderate a 4x4 with at least moderate clearance. Elevation tops out at 12,800' Pass has been close since at least 11/5 due to 12" or more of snow. What could possibly go wrong?

https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/f...fsbdev3_002300
I hope the OP is trolling. My wife and I were hiking the west side of RMNP a few years back, and I chanced a long hike knowing there was a chance for storms. We did a great hike up to the visitors center, and were just coming back into the tree line and maybe 45 minutes to the trail head when the storm hit. Scary, very scary. The trail turned into a river, lightning crashing all around. We sprinted to the trail head in about 20 minutes. Easily could've lost our lives.

A year later my co-workers son was hiking Longmount, when he was blown off. It took searchers two days to locate the body, then they stayed overnight with him till they departed the next morning.

The mountains will kill anyone not fully vested in survival, and often even those that are. If the OPs asking such a dumb question he's likely to have the mountains claim another. The mountains will kill you.
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Old 11-19-18, 10:38 AM
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pass with snow

Hi all thx for the reply, why i do it im doing the transamerican trail offroad and its hard to get in the right season all the time.
Last two days i rode the Marshall Pass (10.842) and Slumgullion Pass (11,200 ft. elevation) with some walking but the hardest was the melting snow which turned into mud. Thats why im asking due to the good weather if Engineer Pass(13.000) is still possible.
Was hoping a local could give me more info. But it looks like its too hard or maybe impossible so I will take the road with a detour.
And I agree with the reaction closed or closed, Been riding for more than 3000 miles now and crossed rivers mud snow so if it is possible i do it but dont want to risk every thing for it.

Jerry
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Old 11-19-18, 10:51 AM
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historically speaking..

2 words 'Donner Party', or perhaps, more in Colorado history.. Alferd Packer









..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-19-18 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 11-19-18, 11:43 AM
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As it's a USFS road, they can close gates to prevent motor vehicles and ATV's, but hikers, skiers and bikes can go around the gates.

Best folks to ask would be the Uncompahgre National Forest office here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/...forest/offices.

Also one of the Off-Road Jeep rental places in Ouray, there are a few, though likely they've closed for the season and are in Florida.
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Old 11-19-18, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I hope the OP is trolling.
Between the user name, join date, number of posts and substance, I am pretty sure he is.
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Old 11-19-18, 12:59 PM
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I think the OP gave a perfectly reasonable explanation for his motivations. I know there has been snow out there, so I suspect the road is impassible to bikes.

It's interesting that the Donner party started their climb in early November.
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Old 11-19-18, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
As it's a USFS road, they can close gates to prevent motor vehicles and ATV's, but hikers, skiers and bikes can go around the gates.

Best folks to ask would be the Uncompahgre National Forest office here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/...forest/offices.

Also one of the Off-Road Jeep rental places in Ouray, there are a few, though likely they've closed for the season and are in Florida.
I've never lived in a snow belt, but have experienced passes and bridges to recreational areas that are closed only to vehicles. If you're lucky it will be specific just like passes that say no pedestrian traffic, no hikers, campers, etc.
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Old 11-19-18, 02:26 PM
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Here in Eugene, we've had a spectacular month of late October/early November. Has Colorado also had that weather? It is quite possible that areas that would ordinarily be snowbound would be fine now.

However, the good weather is supposed to end mid-week this week.

If you want to try the pass do it NOW, and watch the weather forecasts.
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Old 11-19-18, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Engineer Pass is closed to wheeled motor vehicles. That probably because the Forest Service doesn't want to deal with hauling cars out of the snow nor with the bodies of the people who get stuck up there all winter. It is unlikely closed to skiers, foot traffic or snow mobiles.

That said, trying to cross that pass this time of year is a risky proposition even on skis. It's high and a long trip. Trying to cross it while dragging a bicycle would make it an even longer trip. And you will be dragging the bike most of the way. The San Jauns get a lot of snow and the snow storms can be brutal. I would suggest that if you try to cross it, you might want to recruit 5 other people. Provisions.
What those two said. I spent a week out in Colorado on some passes that were still open last December, no way I would consider trying to do a closed one at almost 13000'. Especially so, as I assume if you are on a cross country trip you are on a road bike with bags, not on a fat bike with a light load.

Do remember that passes are also closed for avalanche danger, not just impassibility.
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Old 11-19-18, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Here in Eugene, we've had a spectacular month of late October/early November. Has Colorado also had that weather? It is quite possible that areas that would ordinarily be snowbound would be fine now.

However, the good weather is supposed to end mid-week this week.

If you want to try the pass do it NOW, and watch the weather forecasts.
Yes, indeed we have. Most of the ski areas have been able to open early because of the snow. Silverton Mountain is on the other side of of the pass and it is reporting a base of 30" to 60". Not exactly bicycling weather.
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Old 11-19-18, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Yes, indeed we have. Most of the ski areas have been able to open early because of the snow. Silverton Mountain is on the other side of of the pass and it is reporting a base of 30" to 60". Not exactly bicycling weather.


Colorado may get some of the Oregon skiers.

Here is the current Mt Bachelor snow depth gauge.



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Old 11-19-18, 03:21 PM
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I wish the OP luck and hope he makes it.

You guys familiar with "The Bike Wanderer?"

The Video Project ? Bike Wanderer

Iohan's has done a lot more than what the OP is proposing. He has cycled from Alaska and is almost in Argentina with stops in Spain, Dubai, Oman and Morocco along the way. His video's are breathtaking.



-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 11-19-18 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 11-19-18, 04:53 PM
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I went around the road closure in Lassen after a late Spring snow storm. It looked good to me and is paved and not as high as Engineer Pass. The rangers caught me and I had to turn back and go around. Snow at 2,000 feet in May.
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